Italian bank Capitalia has sold its stake in dairy group Parmalat.

Capitalia, Italy's third-largest bank, has offloaded its 5.1% interest in Parmalat and said it made a gain of some EUR53m (US$71.2m) on the shares.

US investment bank Lehman Brothers assisted in the placement of the shares, Capitalia said.

Parmalat, which was restructured after its financial collapse in 2003, is understood to be considering a number of takeover targets as it continues its recovery.

Last week, the company settled claims related to the 2003 collapse with three banks for EUR72m. Meanwhile, a US court last week ruled in favour of the company's request for permanent bankruptcy protection.